Sunday, July 8, 2012
I went to Canada for a tan?
Yep - I am tan. I know I still look white to most people, but if you compare my arm to my stomach, I could be Haitian. We are home! Well, I have been home since the forth. Two weeks with all my boys. Four cities and Toronto twice. The flight over was brutal! It was on frequent flier miles and changed from two legs to three at the last mintue - Seattle to Detroit, Detroit to Cinninatti, a 5 hour lay over and then to Toronto. BRUTAL! The boys were amazing and promptly fell asleep in the car, so Grandma Lil's first look at them in two years was asleep. Toronto was great. I have not been back in six years. It was great to see all of Grant's friends and family. Children have grown up into beautiful young adults, our friends are important people....and I am like, "How did that happen?!?" When did we grow up?!?!?! I even caught up with a woman that I met in Canyon Ranch three years ago. She is a hoot! After four short nights, we took off to Montreal, but let me go back to Toronto. We stayed at the Super 8 in Chinatown. Great location, sound proof rooms which I was glad for after the second set of teenagers partied across the hall, really bad free Internet, worn worn worn but had HUGE rooms, and free breakfast. They charged my credit card for $100 dollars for a damage deposit, and the second day I went to clarify it was for further damage beyond what was already there. I was really nice and quiet about it, but I needed to know. That is what I mean by worn. Not the nicest place. In Montreal, we had a two bedroom apartment with a kitchen. The boys loved it! We loved it! We practiced our French, ate really well, swam in the pool, and walked the city and museums. Everything was going great until I looked in a window and saw a Montreal Canadiens' hockey jersey and mentioned to Grant we should get one for Mason. WOW. APPARENTLY, THIS IS VERY VERY WRONG. Grant, in a very un-Canadian manner, proceeded to throw a fit in the middle of the street. As this doesn't happen often, the boys and I just looked at him with our mouths wide open. He rarely raises his voice, but apparently this caused him to raise his voice and throw a tantrum in the street. I was told, and I quote, "No son of mine will EVER own, wear, or buy anything from the Montreal Canadiens." I asked why and he said it was because he was from Toronto. Logical? Reasonable? He went on for blocks about why this is acceptable and reasonable behavior. I turned him off and bought a Christmas ornament instead that said, "Montreal". That was acceptable. (Since coming home, I have heard a few other stories of Canadian husbands acting the same exact way when faced with the Montreal Canadiens. They have offended family members and ruined holidays over this "issue". WOW.) ;) In Quebec City, we had an even larger apartment and I cooked happily. The grocery stores are amazing in Quebec and CHEAP for amazing food. Food out was expensive, like lunch was $60 and we all drank water. So, we definitely took advantage of the kitchens. Quebec City was amazingly beautiful. I could not take a bad picture. The boys loved the wall, the military, the street performers, everything. I love the beer garden next to the pirate ship park. Why don't we have those?!?!? And I was able to buy a Quebec Nordiques Hockey T-shirt for Mason there. I understand I can do this because the are no longer a competitor to the Toronto Maple Leafs. (I just really wanted to not have a tantrum in the middle of Quebec City.) Then off to Ottawa! Being in Ottawa, the nation's capital, on Canada Day, was awesome. I love Ottawa. It is just so beautiful and well laid out. The Snowbirds did their thing, we sang O Canada, and played all day. They had two amazing kid focused parks - one non-military; one military. The Canada Day celebration there is a lot like Seattle's Sea Fair, so a lot of celebration of their military. One of the BEST stories was at the military focused park. The park was across the river back into Quebec and I was so tired of my horrible French, when a very nice woman asked me the time, I just gave her my watch. She laughed and said in French, "Do you speak English? You seem to understand French." I replied in English with, "Yes, I can understand some, but I can't speak it worth a damn!" She laughed and said in English, "You have half the battle and it is the hard one." Anyway, I digress.....we saw and sat in a Snowbirds cockpits which the boys LOVED. We toured a Hovercraft which I loved. But the high light....the favorite thing of both my boys was the obstacle course put on my the Army. We waited in the sun for 45 mins. It was 95 degrees. There were not deterred. They started warming up as we got close to the front. Really?!?!?!! It was 95 degrees. They put there helmets on and stopped listening to me and just focused on the Army guys. It is too bad because I was saying, "Listen guys - remember, this is Canada. Your blue is showing a little." To my joy, and maybe a little bit of embarrassment, they kicked everyone's ass. I mean clearly, they wanted it more than ANYBODY ELSE there. They caught up to the two before them and were TICKED when they were told to wait their turn. I thought their might some throwing of elbows, but they got it under control and, in defense, of the kids in front of us, I don't think they had seen an athletic competition in their lives. I kept my mouth shut with Mason, but when Nolan went I was like, "Go Baby! OMG - you did the monkey bars all by yourself - AWESOME. GO! GO! GO!" The dude said to me that Nolan was quite serious and aggressive and all I could get out was, "He comes by it naturally....." Grant and I learned a lot on this trip. Like don't tell the boys there is a water slide at the next hotel BEFORE the six hour drive - tell them after and we really think that 14 days without a break from our kids is too much. Next time, 10 nights. I also learned that I can forget. I was so removed from home, me, cancer, etc. I actually forgot I was sick. I actually thought about what job I was going to get when Nolan went to Kindergarten and I actually THOUGHT about it before I realized I would still be in chemo and who would ever take me on as an employee. I pushed that out of my mind and kept dreaming about what I wanted and what I would have been doing if all "this" hadn't happened. Then, we touched down in Seattle, and while I was so happy to be home......it was time to remember and as I pack up the boys today, a little part of me will die, but the other part no knows that someday will be able to forget......for good. Vive le Canada! Love, Ang
Posted by Angela Clarno at 12:34 PM